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Rediff.com  » Sports » Penpix of Costa Rica's World Cup squad

Penpix of Costa Rica's World Cup squad

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May 26, 2006 16:19 IST
Costa Rica's squad for the World Cup finals in Germany comprises the following 23 players:

(Statistics up to and including May 22 2006)

GOALKEEPERS

1-Alvaro Mesen (Herediano) Born 24.12.72 Caps: 39 Goals: 0

Reserve goalkeeper at the 2002 World Cup after losing his place to Erick Lonnis during the qualifiers, he started the 2006 qualifying campaign as first choice but then lost his place to Jose Francisco Porras and again appears set to sit on the sidelines.

18-Jose Francisco Porras (Saprissa) Born 8.11.70 Caps: 16 Goals: 0  

Veteran goalkeeper who has became a national team regular only in the twilight of his career, having spent a long time as a reserve to Erick Lonnis. Played in five of the last six qualifiers and is currently the first choice. Helped his club to win the CONCACAF Champions Cup last year, beating favourites UNAM of Mexico in the final.

23-Wardy Alfaro (Alajuelense) Born 31.12.77 Caps: 1 Goals: 0

Third-choice goalkeeper. Got his first call-up for the World Cup qualifier in the United States in 2005 because Donny Grant did not have a visa. Made his only appearance against South Korea in February.

DEFENDERS

2-Jervis Drummond (Saprissa) Born 8.9.76 Caps: 54 Goals: 1

Player with plenty of pace who was in the 2002 squad, though he did not get a game. He was left out of the team under Jorge Luis Pinto but was brought back by Alexandre Guimaraes and played in six of the last seven qualifiers. Drummond can play as full-back, right wing-back or in the centre of the defence. His twin brother Gerald also plays professionally and has one cap.

15-Harold Wallace (Alajuelense) Born 7.9.75 Caps: 77 Goals: 1

Right-sided player generally used as a wing-back in Guimaraes's 3-5-2 formation. Ever-present in the 2002 World Cup, he made only one appearance in the following two years but has been brought back into the squad since Guimaraes returned. Has won six Costa Rican titles and the 2004 CONCACAF Champions Cup with his club.

5-Gilberto Martinez (Brescia, Italy) Born 1.10.79 Caps: 56 Goals: 0

Martinez's tough tackling and determination have made him a regular fixture in the team since he was promoted from the under-20 side after playing in the 1999 World Youth Cup in Nigeria. Ever-present for his country at the 2002 finals and played in all but two of Costa Rica's 18 qualifiers for 2006. Raised at Saprissa before moving to Italy in 2002.

3-Luis Marin (Alajuelense) Born 10.8.74 Caps: 118 Goals: 5

Costa Rica's most capped international began his career as a midfielder but is now established as a central defender. His career lost its way with unhappy stints in Guatemala and Uruguay but he settled at Alajuelense, the club where he was raised, in 2000 and has stayed there since. Has won seven Costa Rican titles with his club, was ever-present in the 2002 World Cup finals and missed only two of the 2006 qualifiers.

4-Michael Umana (Brujas FC) Born 16.7.82 Caps: 16 Goals: 0

Central defender who played in all four of Costa Rica's games at the Athens Olympics. Spent 2005 with Los Angeles Galaxy and made 15 appearances. Made four appearances in the qualifiers.

12-Leonardo Gonzalez (Herediano) Born 21.11.80 Caps: 35 Goals: 0

Left-sided defender, he was a regular in the team under Jorge Luis Pinto in 2004 but had to fight for his place under Guimaraes. Played at the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2004 Copa America.

17-Gabriel Badilla (Saprissa) Born 30.6.84 Caps: 5 Goals: 0

Reserve defender. Made his international debut away to China in June 2005. Played in one qualifier against Guatemala when Costa Rica had already qualified.

22-Michael Rodriguez (Alajuelense) Born 30.12.81 Caps: 2 Goals: 0

Has won three national titles and one CONCACAF Champions Cup since his professional debut in 2002. Played for his country in the World Youth Championship in Argentina in 2001 and the Athens Olympics in 2004. Won both his senior caps in friendlies this year.

MIDFIELDERS

20-Douglas Sequeira (Real Salt Lake, U.S.) Born 23.8.77 Caps: 27 Goals: 2

Defensive midfielder who played at under-17 and under-20 levels for his country but had to wait until 2004 to make his full international debut in a friendly against Mexico. Had spells with Feyenoord and Karlsruhe before returning home to play for Saprissa and spent last year with Chivas USA. Played in the 2004 Copa America and 2005 Gold Cup.

6-Danny Fonseca (Cartagines) Born 7.11.79 Caps: 20 Goals: 2

Midfielder who has been a regular in the squad since making his debut in the CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying tournament against Honduras in 2003, although he has struggled to win a first-team place and appeared in only five qualifiers. Played in the 2005 Gold Cup. Scored his first goal in the friendly against Iran in March.  

7-Cristian Bolanos (Saprissa) Born 17.5.84 Caps: 14 Goals: 1

Midfielder who has featured regularly since making his debut against Norway last year. Played at the 2005 Gold Cup and made four appearances in the qualifiers. Won the CONCACAF Champions Cup with Saprissa last year and played at the World Club championship.

10-Walter Centeno (Saprissa) Born 6.10.74 Caps: 91 Goals: 15

Costa Rica's playmaker with excellent vision and pinpoint passing. Played at the 2002 World Cup and was a key figure in the qualifying campaign for 2006. Spent one season with AEK Athens before returning to Saprissa in 2003. Helped them to win the CONCACAF Champions Cup last year.

8-Mauricio Solis (Comunicaciones, Guatemala) Born 13.12.72 Caps: 106 Goals: 6

Much-travelled defensive midfielder with a powerful shot, he played for clubs in England, the United States, Greece and Mexico before returning home in 2005. Made seven appearances in the qualifiers, though now used more as a substitute.  

16-Carlos Hernandez (Alajuelense) Born 9.4.82 Caps: 16 Goals: 6

One of Costa Rica's recent revelations, scored two superb goals after coming on as a substitute in the 3-0 win over the United States which clinched their place at the finals. Dangerous when shooting from long range. Has won two Costa Rican titles with Alajuelense and the 2004 CONCACAF Champions Club.

14-Randall Azofeifa (Saprissa) Born 30.12.84 Caps: 4 Goals: 0

Attacking midfielder, made his international debut in the World Cup qualifier against Guatemala in October.

FORWARDS

11-Ronald Gomez (Saprissa) Born 24.1.75 Caps: 78 Goals: 23  

After playing in the 2002 World Cup, Gomez struggled to get a place in the squad during 2004 but was brought back towards the end of the qualifiers. Powerfully-built player known as the Bullet because of his shooting. Has played for clubs in Spain, Greece, Guatemala and Mexico.

9-Paulo Wanchope (Herediano) Born 31.7.76 Caps: 67 Goals: 43

Costa Rica's all-time leading scorer, the lanky former Malaga, Manchester City, West Ham and Derby Country striker says his nimble footwork is down to the fact that he used to be a basketball player. However, he is short of top-level competition after a move to Qatar for the 2005-06 season and an unimpressive return home for Herediano this year.

19-Alvaro Saborio (Saprissa) Born 25.3.82 Caps: 22 Goals: 7

Burst on to the scene when he was top scorer in the 2003-04 Costa Rican championship with 25 goals. He also shone for the Olympic team, scoring the goal which took them to Athens in 2004 and then playing in three of their four games. Played at the 2004 Copa America but was then overlooked for nearly one year before returning to score in the wins over Panama and Trinidad & Tobago which helped Costa Rica to qualify for Germany. Scored on his debut against China in 2003.

21-Victor Nunez (Cartagines) Born 15.4.80 Caps: 2 Goals: 0  

Made his debut against South Korea in February. Opportunist striker and one of the top scorers in this year's Costa Rican championship.

13-Kurt Bernard (Puntarenas) Born 8.12.77 Caps: 2 Goals: 0

Free-kick specialist whose goals in this year's Costa Rica championship earned him a call-up for the friendly against South Korea in February.

Source:
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